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Protongirl 2,224 Views

Joined: Jul 20, '07; Posts: 76 (13% Liked) ; Likes: 19

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  • 1
    chorkle likes this.

    Unfortunately I no longer have my spreadsheet (hard-drive crash). But the AACN list of programs is a good place to start and the process of researching really helped me to make an informed decision.

    I will share a few opinions on things you mentioned in your last post. These are definitely just my personal opinions, but they may be helpful to you since I am already part-way through a nursing program.

    First, I really understand the desire to start and finish as quickly as possible. When you already spent years working on a degree that you are not going to even use, you want to get the next one done and over with! However, I would be leery of basing too much of my school choice on how few prereqs they require (at least science classes). Either the foundational information that you would have learned in a prereq class will have to be learned doing nursing school (which means adding to the deluge of knowledge that is nursing school) or you will be ill-prepared to succeed in nursing school. Nursing school requires more than just memorization, it requires understanding processes based upon the foundation that science prereqs build.

    Also, although it certainly works for some, 12-months is a very, very short amount of time. My program is 21-months and nearly everyone feels that there are not enough hours in the day to study enough to fully understand and remember all the crucial material. In a 12-month program you would have the same amount of clinical hours, laboratory hours, and academic units as we do in 21-months. I'm not trying to be discouraging, but until you are there, I *think it is impossible to understand how different nursing school will be from your first degree. *Nursing school is more than just a hurdle to get over in order to be a nurse. It is the time to learn copious amounts of information that is crucial to being a knowledgeable professional (and to know how to avoid killing your patients or losing your license). Just don't underestimate the consuming nature of nursing school and really consider if shaving 4-9 months off your school time is worth it.*

    Good searching and good luck!

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    I think the more you can get ahead of the potential problem, the better. As everyone said, check your school's policy (I would use email so you have a paper trail) and definitely bring your prescription numbers to the drug test and disclose. That way it will only be a matter of whether you will be allowed to proceed while actively on that script. What you really don't want to have happen is to fail without a disclosed reason. Good luck!

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    Although it wasn't required, I took med term in person the summer before I began my nursing program. I kicked myself as I sat in class until 9:30 at night, but once I began the nursing program I was so thankful that I had! I would highly, highly recommend taking it and I think hearing how to pronounce things in the class really helped!

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    Just as a word of warning, although UCSF doesn't require very many prerequisites, it is virtually impossible to get in without significant clinical experience (preferably paid). Also, I would really question putting all my eggs in one basket - especially the #2 basket in the country!

    If you are in your first semester of college, I would hesitate to take such a circuitous path to your goal. I would really suggest trying your best to get into an ASN program. It is much easier to get into RN to BSN programs then into traditional BSN programs. Also, as a practicing RN you would be gaining experience that will help you later as a FNP. Better yet, most employers will pay for at least part of your RN to BSN and MSN education. Student debt may seem minor now, but later when a huge chunk of your paycheck goes to loans it will suddenly be pretty major!

    Good luck!

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    i have two types of labs: the mock units like you described and simulation labs.

    mock units - i would ask how many anatomical models they have for each skill. often you are going to have 50 or 60 students at a time practicing a skill, so if there are only two models you will probably have some frustrating time either standing around or practicing on items that stretch your imagination (like suctioning a trach on a pvc pipe). but in reality, labs just give you a passing familiarity with equipment, supplies, terms, and procedures. you will not be allowed to practice invasive procedures on classmates and any non-invasive practice will only show you normal since you are all healthy. you will learn the majority in clincals - but labs will allow you to know what the nurse means when she talks about doing a dressing change with duoderm.

    simulation labs - my experience is that there is a lot of variation in the simulation labs of various schools. in case you don't know, a simulation lab is a replica of a patient's room with a simulation model that interacts with you on some level. for example, the professor may be able to speak through the model, put various rhythms and vitals on the monitor, and it may have variable heart, respiratory, and bowel sounds. these are used to replicate emergent, stressful clinical situations without an actual patient being at risk. if it is done well and you can suspend disbelief, a good simulation lab can be really helpful!

  • 1
    elkpark likes this.

    Here are some factors that I found helpful when I was struggling with the same type of dilemma:

    NCLEX pass and attrition rates - I think it is crucial to consider both of these stats. You want a school that is going to prepare you to become a practicing, licensed nurse. And if the school has a great NCLEX pass rate, but only half of the starting class graduates, then there may be a problem in how they are preparing students that is being obscured by them weeding out those that the HESI indicates probably won't pass the NCLEX. At the second-degree level, a good school accepts qualified applicants, has a reasonable attrition rate, and a NCLEX rate that is at least near the state average.

    Reputation in the market that you plan on practicing in - as many applicants pointed out, many new nurses are not finding jobs right now. So, going to a school that has great connections and/or reputation in the location that you plan on working in is very important. An important aspect of this is where your clinicals will be at.

    Opportunites - I hesitated to attend a program that was so condensed that it would leave absolutely no time to work in a clinical setting, participate in student organizations, or take advantage of other networking opportunities. As many previous posters have voiced, right now there are far more applicants than there are new grad positions. A summer externship, part-time PCT/CNA position, and participation in organizations or activities that allow you to make connections with local hospitals drastically increases your chances of landing that crucial first job.

    Liklihood of acceptance - this one is my least favorite. Like in most things, the laws of supply and demand apply to education. The more a school costs, the less people will be willing or able to pay for it. All other things being equal, the cheaper option is better. But this is exactly why many low-cost state universities have a 100+ applicants for each slot. So, holding out for the cheaper two-year program may end up taking several years.

    Funding - this one is complicated. First, many private universities will include some grant money in the financial aid package. Secondly, unless you have saved a significant amount, you will have to take out a private loan to fund that much in one year. This is important because private loans are not subject to reimbursement or discharge in return for employment, work in an underserved area, or work for a non-profit. Thus, you absolutely will have to repay every cent (plus interest). And of course, there is lost earning potential - especially if it also takes several years to get into the cheaper school.

    I found that the first three variables were the most important to me personally. After that, I decided what financial line I was unwilling to cross (for me it was taking on any private loans). After that, I cast a somewhat wide net with applications. That way I knew I was likely to get in somewhere that I felt good about and, if it was the cheap one, all the better! Paying $40-80 per application was painful, but really it is nothing compared to the prospective cost of tuition, years of school, and impact on your career.

    I hope some of this helped. I was in your position a year and half ago and vividly remember the constant dwelling! Good luck to you!

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    In my experience private universities are very holistic in their applicant review. They seem more likely to consider non-academic variables, such as life experience, obstacles that have been overcome, and (most importantly) the applicants understanding and passion for nursing. So, in my opinion it is very possible to compensate for a lower GPA with a concise, well-written essay. Of course, many schools have a prompt for the essay, so it can be difficult to cover everything without conveying the idea that you do not follow instructions. However, most private schools will read a short, to the point letter discussing any major blemishes.

    The biggest factor that I found schools focused on was whether applicants had a realistic or a romanticized understanding of nursing. If you can convey an understanding and a realistic passion for nursing, I would think that you have a good chance at private universities. In my experience (and many of my nursing school friends), public universities tend to focus more on numbers - GPA, test scores, and/or years of medical experience.

    Hope this helps - good luck!

  • 2
    Queen Tiye, CNA and lawly like this.

    I found that AACN was the best resource for finding programs. Here is a link to their list of accelerated programs, they also have lists of traditional BSN and Masters Entry programs. http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Education/pdf/APLIST.PDF

    Typically, any programs titled "Accelerated BSN", "second-degree", "direct-entry", MEPN, or GEPN are designed for those who have earned a bachelors degree in another field and completed certain prerequisites.

    Knowing which programs are good is a complicated thing. The universal variables that are crucial are accreditation, NCLEX pass rate, attrition rate (beware those with a 95% NCLEX pass rate and a 50-60% attrition rate!), and clinical locations. But there are also highly individual factors: price, location, prerequisites, liklihood of acceptance, prestige, student culture, etc.

    Unfortunately all of these factors require both self-analysis and copious research. Being a bit obsessive, I made a spreadsheet of the variables. The internet is a wonderful source of statistics and information. And Allnurses was a good way of finding out past applicants' experiences. Personally, I avoiding any schools with high attrition rates, disorganized websites, unwelcoming admissions officers, or a reputation for encouraging an overly-competitive culture.

    As you research programs, you will notice how much variation in prerequisites, application deadlines, letters of recommendation formats, acceptance dates, and start dates there is. So, plan ahead!!

    Good luck, hope this helps!

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    castorandpollux likes this.

    In my experience private universities such as Yale, Hopkins, or Vandy tend to look at applicants much more holistically - taking into consideration factors such as work, socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, first-generation college students, and life experiences. Public universities place a much higher value on statistics (GPA, GRE, yrs of medical experience).

    Also, I would include a separate, concise letter explaining why your GPA was below the cut-off, what has changed since then, and what demonstrates your ability to succeed in a rigorous program. While you don't want to make excuses, an honest analysis of your past is better than silently hoping they overlook it.

    Also, you probably would have a better shot at a non-accelerated program. For example, Hopkins has a 16month accelerated program or a 21-month regular program. Because of the intensity of the accelerated program, they seem to be more willing to overlook blemishes in applicants to the 21-month program.

    While my GPA was solid, my undergrad had some definite blemishes. I applied to two publics and three privates (Yale, Hopkins, & Vanderbilt). I was rejected by both public (one ranked in the 40s) and accepted by all three privates (two of which are top-ten programs).

    Good luck!

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    No worries! It's not a big deal.

    As for money - save as much as you can, look for any scholarships, hope for a decent grant, and resign yourself to taking out copious loans. You'll find a way - but it is stressful. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm paying for next year!

  • 1
    cartwheel likes this.

    Congratulations! Baltimore is the epitome of a renter's market. And most of the rowhouses are 3+ bedrooms. Once the regular decision applicants are accepted and it gets closer, there will be a mad rush of folks looking for roommates.

    I was early decision last year and agonized over housing for months. Because of the sinplicity, I strongly considered a student-friendly highrise. But two months before my program started I decided to share a rowhouse with a couple folks. I cannot overstate how easy it was to find somewhere to rent. I was even able to negotiate a 10% rent reduction because I signed a multi-year lease (I'm also BSN-MSN). Hopkins is a huge name here and having an acceptance letter gives you a lot of credibility as a prospective tenant. Even more so if you're accepted to the graduate program as well.

    My biggest advice is to talk to a local (or at least a current student) about the exact neighborhood you're looking in. One or two blocks makes an amazing difference in safety here. And absolutely do not rent anywhere without seeing it in person. Pictures don't show you the moldy stench of that beautiful old house and definitely won't show you that half the houses on that block are board-ups.

    Baltimore has many fun, quirky neighborhoods with affordable rentals and I really love it here. But location is everything!

    I believe someone from your class is setting up a Facebook group for your class. And check the JHUSON website. Click on "Accepted Students" and then on the 'SONForums' link at the bottom. There are two areas; one for talking to classmates and one for asking current students questions. And in a couple months there will be an Accepted Student's Day. All these will give you ample opportunity to find roommates.

    Hope all this helps! Again - congratulations to everyone. Before you know it you'll be here!

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    When I applied, one of my resumes went over by about 20-30 words and I was accepted. However, if it obviously exceeds the limit by a significant amount they view it as an indication of your ability to follow directions.

    And if you are accepted, they will call you. They really seem to enjoy delivering the good news!

    Good luck!

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    Wow - that is quite a load to take over the summer! Just remember that having prereqs completed prior to applying is only of value if you have solid grades in them. If you pile on too many hardcore classes and then don't do well in one or two of them, it is worse than applying with them still outstanding. So, I wish you all the luck in the world, but don't kill yourself this summer!

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    Congratulations! There is a Facebook group that has tons of information, including a recap of everything we learned at Accepted Students Day. I'm sure it would help catch you up, should check it out: Johns Hopkins University *Accelerated Nursing Class of 2011*

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    Hi there Pasitch! I think some of us are still keeping an eye on these threads, but you can also join us on Facebook too: John Hopkins University *Traditional Nursing Class of 2012*! There is also one for the accelerated class: Johns Hopkins University *Accelerated Nursing Class of 2011*

    I will indeed be at Accepted Students Day - I am actually flying in early to check out some Hopkins friendly apartments. What about you, will you be able to make it? It's such short notice for the newest acceptances - but hope to see you there!


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